Lost Treasures of the West: Thundering Thompson/The Lone Bandit/Love Goes West [DVD]

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Thundering Thompson
One of the least-remembered cowboy heroes of all time, Cheyenne Bill starred in this miniscule oater released through Morris R. Schlank's Anchor exchanges. Cheyenne Bill was actually one William McKechnie, a former stunt double for Ronald Colman. In this Cheyenne Bill series entry, the hero is set up by a crooked sheriff to drive lovely Neva Gerber off her valuable land. He falls in love instead, of course, and eventually brings the villain to justice. Producer-director Ben Wilson enjoyed a lengthy professional relationship with Gerber, but their association came to a close at the changeover to sound. Unable to secure further work in Hollywood following the Cheyenne Bill films, William McKechnie instead became an engineer and later worked on assignments in Alaska, China and the Philippines. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Love Goes West
The Lone Bandit
Filmed at the Mack Sennett Studios, the future home of Republic Pictures, this obscure western starred rugged Lane Chandler as a cowboy mistakenly accused of being the notorious "Phantom Bandit." His true identity verified, Lane is deputized and begins a search for the real outlaw, who has been terrorizing the settlers of Panhandled, Texas. Obtaining a job as ranch hand on a spread belonging to pretty Doris Brook, Lane finds himself once again accused of being the "Phantom," this time by foreman Charles "Slim" Whitaker who, as every B-Western fan knows, is highly suspicious himself. About to be lynched, Lane is rescued in the nick of time by Sheriff Wally Wales, who has arrested the real culprit -- not Whitaker, surprisingly, but bit part player Philo McCullough, something of a cheat. Directed by the venerable J. P. McGowan, whose career dated back to the 1910s and The Hazards of Helen, The Lone Bandit was far too cheap and ramshackle to make the otherwise capable Lane Chandler a western star. Leading lady Doris Brook was of no help to Chandler, but instead a rank amateur who also graced several westerns produced and directed by legendary bad filmmaker Robert J. Horner. The Lone Bandit was the first entry in a proposed series of Phantom Rider westerns produced by H. and H. Productions (Nathan Hirsch and Robert Hoyt), but only The Outlaw Tamer (1935), also starring Chandler, would follow. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

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